art by Hebron Chism
art by Rekeisha Taylor
Works by Hebron Chism (top) and Rekeisha Taylor (bottom)

UTSA, Wells Fargo, Blue Star host Black History Month art show

(Feb. 7, 2006)--UTSA, Wells Fargo and Blue Star Contemporary Art Center have joined forces to celebrate Black History Month through a special art show, "HARAMBEE: The Prevalence of Ritual," featuring works by Rekeisha Taylor, Ronney Stevens and Hebron Chism.

The exhibition of paintings by the three local African-American artists can be seen through Feb. 28 at the UTSA Downtown Campus gallery in Durango Building Room 1.122. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

UTSA President Ricardo Romo and Dr. Harriett Romo will host a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24 at the gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

Wells Fargo will feature the artists' work at the company's West Side (109 N. San Saba), Martin Luther King Plaza (423 N. New Braunfels Ave.) and Foster Road (5703 N. Foster Road) locations. The art on display through Feb. 28 is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

"Wells Fargo shares our passion and commitment to celebrating the arts and culture of our community," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "By working together and showcasing local artists, we are able to bring art to those in our community who might not have access."

"We are proud to work with UTSA and Blue Star Contemporary Art Center to honor African-Americans through this special Black History Month art show," said Don Kendrick, Wells Fargo community banking regional president for Central Texas. "Arts and culture are vital to San Antonio and the people who live in this great city. This show helps bring the two -- and our community -- together."

The curator of "HARAMBEE: The Prevalence of Ritual" is Bernice Appelin-Williams, development director of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. Appelin-Williams also is a professional mixed-media artist with an extensive international exhibition and curatorial track, and she has written art critiques and articles on the fine arts for local and national publications.

"Three artists who are proud of their roots, of their culture and of their gift of creativity graciously accepted my invitation to join in the celebration and education of American history," said Appelin-Williams. "Three artists who have completely different styles of work, who are at very different points in their careers, who embrace their diversities and who are fairly new to San Antonio join me in San Antonio's 2006 Black History Month events."

Rekeisha Taylor studied at UTSA where she earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts. She is an emerging photo artist (photographer and printmaker) with many notable exhibitions including "Writings on the Wall" at UTSA, "Emerging Artist" at the Alameda Theater and "First Biannual Student Photography Exhibition" at Blue Star.

Ronney Stevens attended the Otis Art Institute and the American Animation Institute. He studied oil painting at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. His work has been shown extensively, including a display at the Texas State Capitol. His artwork is currently on display at the African Marketplace in Los Angeles.

Hebron Chism studied at Langston and Central State universities. He focuses on creating artwork that reveals the inner visions of ethnic people. He challenges viewers to remember and honor their past, while questioning their own roles in the world today. Ancient cultures and tribal art can be found in his graphics and sculptures (Mayan, Celtic, Aborigine, Egyptian and African).

Comprised of both gifts and acquisitions of fine art for The University of Texas at San Antonio, the UTSA art collection contains paintings, sculptures, works on paper and mixed media by many talented South Texas artists, many of whom are graduates of UTSA.

UTSA art specialist Arturo Almeida reviews potential gifts and makes recommendations based on their artistic merit and appropriateness for the campus collection. Pieces in the collection are located at interior and exterior sites throughout the university's three campuses and are maintained by the UTSA art specialist. The university hopes to enhance the educational environment for thousands of students, faculty and staff, while making UTSA aesthetically pleasant for visitors.

Blue Star Contemporary Art Center is a nonprofit, noncollecting contemporary organization in San Antonio that advances the growth and understanding of contemporary art, artists and the curatorial process. Through exhibitions and a variety of programs, Blue Star is an active participant in the development of regional, national and international contemporary art and provides a lively forum for the visual arts dialogue.

Wells Fargo has more than 620 locations throughout Texas. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $453 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,200 stores and the Internet ( across North America and internationally.

Wells Fargo's commitment to the African American community began 152 years ago at the company's founding. Many African-Americans played a crucial role during the early days of the company and were critically important in the operation of long-distance stage lines linking communities across the country.

Wells Fargo and UTSA have worked together on two previous art events. Wells Fargo, UTSA, the Institute of Mexico and Blue Star joined forces to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month through a special art show in fall 2005. In April, Wells Fargo and UTSA honored Latino artist Jesse Treviño during the 25th anniversary celebration of his "Imagenes de Mi Pueblo" mural featured inside Wells Fargo's Las Palmas store.

For more information, contact Arturo Almeida at (210) 458-4983.

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